Texas Tech Honors 50th Anniversary of Raider Red Mascot [PHOTOS]
During the second quarter of Saturday's Texas Tech vs SFA football game, Texas Tech honored the 50th anniversary of the creation of Raider Red.
Texas Tech is like many college teams that have both a live animal mascot, and a costumed mascot. Raider Red was created once rules were changed to ban visiting football teams from bringing live animal mascots to road games in the Southwest Conference.
Saturday's on-field ceremony honored previous Raider Red mascots and the family of Dirk West, who created Raider Red. West was a modern-day renaissance man, a renown artist who published a weekly editorial cartoon depicting the status of Texas Tech Football, and the fellow teams in the Southwest Conference, through their mascots. West also served as Lubbock's mayor for one term from 1978-1980.
Texas Tech's brief history for Raider Red:
Prior to the 1971 season, the Southwest Conference passed a rule that prevented members of the conference from taking live animals to non-home games unless the host team had no objections. So Jim Gaspard, a member of the Saddle Tramps created Raider Red from a drawing by the late Lubbock cartoonist Dirk West as an alternative to the Masked Rider. Raider Red's student persona is kept a secret from the Tech community. Red is a public relations mascot who shakes hands with the crowds at athletic events and poses for pictures. He changes from boots to high-top court shoes for basketball games. Raider Red fires his two 12-gauge shotguns using powder-filled shells after every Tech touchdown and field goal.
Photos of Raider Red over the years: